I’m always amazed at how things line up. In the hospital, you might switch days with a coworker, and you end up with a life changing patient. You might be covering for someone on your team while they are off, and you end up meeting the needs of a patient you would have other wise never met. It happens all the time.
In other instances, you may make plans months in advance, never knowing what the day will bring. You schedule a flight, only to have it cancelled due to weather. You buy tickets to a concert, and end up with a stomach bug. You sign up to run a race, and you need surgery. We just never truly know.
Today, we celebrated the lives of children who passed away this year at my hospital. It’s an annual tradition that brings hope and comfort to our families. It helps bring closure to staff members, and it allows us to be humans, rather than stoic scrub-clad healthcare workers. We get the opportunity to pray with families, sing with them, and remember.
Today, my step dad remembers the life of his father. A World War II veteran who fought for our country and saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. He lived to be 97, yet the thought of his time at war still brought tears to his eyes. He always welcomed us to the table to share a meal at his favorite restaurant. He loved his town. Today, we remember.
Today, our country remembers the life of Barbara Bush. Always the class-act, in her pearls and signature blue, she inspired many women to succeed. I remember my own grandmother, as I wear her pearls today, too. What strength it took to represent our country as the First Lady and later, the mother of a President. We don’t have to think too hard about how her hair became so white. She loved her family well, and will continue to inspire others to follow in her footsteps.
When our team planned the memorial service this year, we had no way of knowing what else we would be remembering today. We didn’t know if the weather would be rainy or gorgeous. We couldn’t have predicted who would be sick or who would have a last-minute emergency. We didn’t know who would come. But God did.
God knew today would be a day of remembrance. He asks us to remember, and so we reflect and remind ourselves of His goodness. We look through pictures of the people we love, who smiled and, in return, made us grin from ear to ear. We remember the stories-some we can tell, some we can’t. We remember their struggles and rejoice that they are over, new forms of grief taking their place.
Why do we need to remember? The Bible asks us to remember His covenant. In 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26, it says:
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said,“This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (CSB)
We must remember what the Lord has done for us. He gave His life so that we might live. If we don’t remember that, then we will not follow His law. If we don’t remember that, we will end up in a life that looks nothing like Jesus’.
God created our minds for remembering, and He lines things up so we will do just that. Psalm 8:3-4 says, “When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him?” (CSB)
Did you catch that? He remembers us, as well. Just as we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), we remember Him, because He first remembered us.
When everything seems to be lining up in a crazy way, on those days where it seems almost like the plot line to a TV drama, ask God what He’s trying to show you. Today, I’m remembering- precious lives, His goodness, laughter, and family. Coincidence isn’t really something I believe in, but I wholeheartedly look to the One who is orchestrating this life I’ve been given.